JOHANNESBURG: Zimbabwe’s King of sungura music, Alick Macheso has defied a string of defections by backing singers to stay top of his game.
He received rave reviews from fans during a recent performance in neighbouring South Africa where scores of revelers thronged the Safari Hotel in Hillbrow in the heart of Johannesburg to see their star perform.
And he did not disappoint, having revelers eating from his hand with the famous musical dances called Borrowdale, Zora Butter, Razor Wire, Slow Motion, Tora Bute, Yambongo and the latest, dubbed, Kochekera.
Only some months ago, Macheso, who fronts the Orchestra Mberikwazo, was stunned by the absconding of several members, among them Zacharia Zacharia, Jonas Kasamba, Noel Nyazanda, Obert Gomba and Franco Simomo to start their own band called Extra Kwazvose.
Though he struggled to regroup, rejuvenate and give life to the newly established Orchestra Mberikwazvo, Macheso soldiered on with the new band members.
The new lieutenants, who comprise Francis Poto, Tafi Nyamunda, Elton Muropa, Wilson Mega, Givemore Chokumbanyara, Watson Fundula, Selemani ‘Majuice’ Mpochi, First Sakala and Forward Antonio, are finally accustomed to Macheso’s sungura beat. Music fans are happy to see the sungura maestro back with a bang.
“Macheso proved to be a naturally talented musical leader by grooming capable new band members. What excited me from the recent show is that he showed patience with the new band members.
“I followed most of Macheso’s shows, but this one (in Johannesburg), his new band members have come of age. Watch out for this year, the band will supersedes what the original Orchestra Mberikwazvo did,” said an upbeat Tonderai Mukwazhi of Yeoville.
Shuvai Shumba of Berea was equally excited.
“I used to read that the group lost the support. I read about the band’s poor sound quality, uncoordinated rhythms, showdy jives coupled with poor quality instrument but what I witnessed here was something else from another planet. Perseverance is actually paying off for Macheso and his new recruits! I wish him best of luck,” said a thrilled Shumba.
Nobuhle Ngwenya-Chikandiwa said she was overwhelmed.
“I was impressed by the dancers, smooth flow of guitarists, musical beat, the chanter’s shouts as well as the unity of purpose showed on stage. I suspect those that left him (Macheso) thinking they were fixing him are now eating the humble pie.
“What the ‘rebels’ did was like what the devil and demons did in heaven when they connived to disobey their Creator Jehovah God.
“I’m really happy for Macheso’s moments of transformation,” said Ngwenya-Chikandiwa.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY